Discover Bendigo

A hard life lived
James Lerk
Last week I featured the ordinary but useful garden of the Cook family from Spring Gully. To say that the family had lived off the smell of an oily rag at the end of the 19th century would not be overstating their circumstances. The Spring Gully house was built on a miners right claim, ..
26-May-2017
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A garden of necessity
James Lerk
The large or elaborate garden is often associated with the well to do which is in direct contrast to those in less fortunate financial circumstances. There is a great challenge in finding out details of gardens which were cultivated by the ordinary members of society in the period of the lat..
19-May-2017
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Dawson and Gill's garden
James Lerk
SO diverse was the cactus collection of Dawson and Gill’s cactus garden that at its peak it was considered to be the best and most extensive in Australia. Their sales catalogue listed over 2000 species of plants, some of which were exceptionally rare. Little wonder that orders for ..
12-May-2017
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White Hills wonders
James Lerk
Dawson and Gill’s Cactus Gardens and nursery was and still is situated in Napier Street, White Hills not far from the Botanical Gardens. Thomas Henry Dawson was born at Wodonga in 1902 and passed away at White Hills on September 7, 1986. Dawson had lived in Roh’s Roa..
05-May-2017
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Cacti in high demand
James Lerk
Cacti, like many plants, can come and go out of fashion, with climate change they will undoubtedly see a resurgence in popularity. It was pointed out last week that most cacti come from the Americas. In the late 18th century a number of species of cacti had already been imported to Australia..
28-Apr-2017
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A prickly subject
James Lerk
Having written of Hyde’s Pleasure Garden adjacent to the First White Hill, I will now turn to a still existing garden, just beyond, and north of the Seventh White Hill which was established by Dawson and Gill. When travelling on the Northern Highway along Napier Street on the w..
21-Apr-2017
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Sad end in Hyde’s dam
James Lerk
Previously I have recorded the fact that a portion of William Hyde’s Pleasure Garden had been given over as a water feature in the form of dams. At least one dam was within the confines of the garden while another was immediately adjacent. Cultivation of suitable species o..
13-Apr-2017
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Horticultural matters
James Lerk
Thus far I have covered a number of people who had some of our early attractive gardens. Alexander Bayne grew some beautiful roses as did George Wells, however the blooms which were supposedly the best were grown in the publicly accessible pleasure garden of William Hyde. Some writers ..
06-Apr-2017
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Activity in the area
James Lerk
In one of my articles a few weeks ago, I mentioned that William Hyde, the instigator of Hyde’s garden at the First White Hill, held a continuing interest in mining activity. To the north east of Hyde’s garden was some ground that had been abandoned by the miners who had been acti..
30-Mar-2017
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All about variety
James Lerk
IF you have been following the stories so far about William Hyde’s garden you could not have failed to notice that to this point I have mentioned the numerous exotics that he cultivated. Among the plethora of plants grown by Hyde was the Mediterranean chamaerops palm which attracted co..
23-Mar-2017
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Hyde's pleasure garden
James Lerk
With many visitors enjoying William Hyde’s garden, located as it was on the southern side of the First White Hill, we learn from reporter’s writings what types of plants were to be seen. What attracted the most attention were Hyde’s roses. Early one autumn Hyde’s gard..
16-Mar-2017
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On the first white hill
James Lerk
William Hyde, the man who was interested in alluvial digging at the First White Hill in the 1850s and beyond, went on to establish a pleasure garden on the property that he acquired. There were numerous alluvial claimholders on each of the seven white hills. These claims were relatively smal..
23-Feb-2017
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A pleasure garden in White Hills
James Lerk
In 1852 the White Hills of Bendigo were discovered to be a source of alluvial gold. The well consolidated quartz gravel, obstinately hard, deterred many from attempting to penetrate these hills. There were seven White Hills all told, it was the talent of skilled Cornish miners who had come ..
17-Feb-2017
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A garden for charitable causes
James Lerk
Alexander and Mary Bayne circulated and associated in the upper circle of Bendigonians during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of Alexander Bayne’s financial success through business, real estate investment and his significant mining interests he became well known on the loc..
09-Feb-2017
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Planting our heritage
James Lerk
As mentioned last week nurseryman and seedsman William Brown sold his land to Alexander Bayne in 1859. The land was near the corner of Don Street (formerly Myrtle Street) and ran uphill to Violet Street where his house Montavert was built. Alexander and Mary Bayne’s property was i..
02-Feb-2017
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What's in a name?
James Lerk
Bayne Street in North Bendigo on the eastern side of the Bendigo Hospital was named after Alexander Bayne, a man who was one of the moving forces behind the establishment of the hospital in that location. The hospital moved from Belgravia or “Hospital Hill” to the alternate site. ..
26-Jan-2017
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A further adornment
James Lerk
Already the construction of the conservatory and its stocking with choice plants has been well discussed. Abraham Harkness, its initiator, was to perform one more important act. Harkness was a very high principled and civic minded person and he wished to help make the gardens surrounding the..
19-Jan-2017
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Bendigo's conservatory
James Lerk
Internally the conservatory facing Pall Mall and Howard Place had tiered benches around the walls and there was a bench which ran along the centre of the glassed building. The building towards the end of February 1898 at the time of the official opening, was filled with many plants selected ..
12-Jan-2017
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A conservatory to beautify
James Lerk
Abraham Harkness, the proprietor of the Victoria Foundry in Shamrock Street, Golden Square, came into that manufacturing plant as a skilled worker. He, as pointed out last week gradually purchased the three partners’ shares in that establishment. The three were T Arundel, J Braddish a..
05-Jan-2017
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Through hard work
James Lerk
A man who was to make a significant contribution to Bendigo and the wider community achieved this primarily through this own exertion, this was Abraham Harkness. Born to Andrew and Hannah Harkness nee Scaife, Abraham first saw the light of day in Northumberland, England in 1829. Following a ..
21-Dec-2016
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